- Apprentice Lawyer
- Legal Jobs
The Bangalore City Civil Court has passed an interim injunction against over forty media houses as well as social media platforms from publishing defamatory statements against BJP candidate and lawyer Tejasvi Surya.
Tejasvi Surya had filed a defamation suit in the civil court after several publications carried news stories reporting allegations of abuse against him.
The articles were prompted by an exchange on Twitter between columnist Shefali Vaidya and one Dr. Som Dutta, who alleged that Surya was a “womaniser, abuser and woman beater”. Dr. Dutta has since deleted the tweets and deactivated her Twitter handle.
When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, XIX City Civil & Sessions Judge Dinesh Hegde granted an interim injunction in favour of Surya. The matter will be next heard on May 27.
The BJP recently fielded Surya as its candidate to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from the Bangalore South constituency. In this background, the plaint filed by Surya states that certain people who are “jealous of his growing popularity” are trying to tarnish his image ahead of the elections.
The plaint is critical of the media houses for publishing such content without verifying its authenticity. It states,
“…the same is made public it may bring him serious disrepute before the public at large and shall have a negative impact about him the minds of right thinking people. If such a malicious attempt at bringing in disrepute is not stopped, it will not only harm the reputation of the Plaintiff but also tarnish his positive image built over years by him.”
Surya thus sought a permanent injunction against the media houses to prevent them from publishing, telecasting, or distributing false and defamatory news relating to him directly or indirectly.
The Court in its order held,
“It appears that some of the prima-facie defamatory messages pertaining to him is in transit in the Media i.e. print and electronic. The plaintiff has produced a copy of the twitter publication i.e, called as ‘Me Too’ case against Tejaswi Surya…
…How all of a sudden these allegations against the plaintiff emerged immediately after he filed nomination for the General Elections is a questionable question.”
It further held that though the publications have the freedom of speech, the “human dignity of life” of any citizen cannot be violated. Thus, the Court saw it fit to grant the ad interim injunction.
Meanwhile, Surya’s lawyers have sent a notice to the publications – including Times of India, Indian Express, Deccan Herald, and The Hindu, as well as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Google – urging them to comply with the Court’s order.
The letter signed by lawyers Sudharsan Suresh, Sandeep Ravi and Sainath DM states,
“Needless to state here that any violation of the interim order would render you liable for serious repercussions and consequences thereof.
In the view of the foregoing, you are not a liberty to publish any scandalous and defamatory statements or any fake news as against our Client.”
Read the order:
Read the plaint:
Read the notice: